The last survey was done in 2007 and was designed to last through 2017.
Facilities and Technology Committee member Don Hill, who was appointed to the group by Randy Scamihorn, suggested the district look at having another study done to determine expected growth, which would better prepare them for future special purposes local option sales tax projects. He also asked that the board look into whether it can be paid for with SPLOST funds.
The group got a look at how SPLOST IV projects will be funded through 2019 during its Monday night meeting.
Hill’s request was specifically speaking to the recommended replacement elementary schools listed in the new notebook of projects. The district has not released where those would be located.
“This is comprehensive, but it’s old,” he said of the old survey.
Hill said a newer survey would help Cobb figure out whether it’s feasible to put a new school in specific areas.
“It would be in our best interest to have an updated report,” he said.
The committee also got its first look at a recommendation to purchase $7.5 million in new math materials with SPLOST III funds.
Cobb Chief Academic Officer Amy Krause presented the topic and answered questions for about 30 minutes.
Similar to issues brought up by school board members last week, F&T members asked about the need for the new materials, whether they would be the best choice for Cobb students and if parents and teachers approved of them.
Committee member Angie Delvin-Brown, who was appointed by David Banks, said the recently adopted Common Core Standards are the emphasis behind the new resources, and Dr. John Crooks, another of Banks’ appointees, got a guarantee from Krause that the purchase puts Cobb in a “good place” academically.
They both voted in favor of the board’s approving the purchase during its Thursday night board meeting.
Concerns were raised by Wallace Coopwood, who was appointed by Superintendent Michael Hinojosa, and Lisa Arnold, who was appointed by David Morgan.
Coopwood questioned spending the large sum of money when the district is considering furlough days and cutting teaching positions to resolve the 2014 budget deficit.
There was $45 million in SPLOST III outlined to fund classroom materials like textbooks. There is about $11.3 million remaining.
“I know it’s a lot of money, but it would be a disservice to our kids and our teachers if we don’t give them the materials,” Delvin-Brown said.
Coopwood voted against purchasing math materials for kindergarten through eighth grades but in favor of ones for high schools.
Arnold, who abstained in voting on both purchases, asked Krause about concerns she’s heard from teachers on how parents and students are dealing with the new curriculum and how it was picked.
“I’m hearing that the materials selected are not in the best interest of students, teachers and parents,” she said. “How much consideration was given to them?”
Krause explained the lengthy process of selecting the resources and said teachers and parents both have a say in what is used.